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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As reported by the Toledo Blade:

Article published Sunday, January 21, 2007
Gay rights, gun rights cross here

We'd been shooting for a while by the time the amiable chatting started up.

This was Friday morning at the pistol range, where it was Sean Spradlin, me, and some other guy firing in another lane.

Sean and the other guy began the obligatory small talk that often crops up when strangers share a small space. Turned out both men are truck drivers, although Mr. Spradlin currently works as a security guard. And, of course, both men obviously enjoy shooting guns.

"I just started a gun club, actually," said Mr. Spradlin, 36.

"Oh, yeah?" the other guy said.

"Yeah, it's for gays and lesbians and bisexuals and transexuals," he said, quickly adding that anyone could join.

"Yeah? Really. OK," the other guy said. He paused briefly and, before returning his attention to the target, said neutrally: "Hmm. Interesting."

Conversation over.

Well, maybe the commingling of gay rights and gun rights is unexpected, but that's the aim of the Pink Pistols. As the national organization's Web site ( explains:

"Socially, the [gay] and shooting communities are both quite similar. Both are often insular and can be closeted, and both have a stereotypical preconceptions about what the other is like."

Pink Pistols was formed in 2000 by a Boston engineer for both social and self-defense purposes. Its Web site lists five Ohio chapters, including the nascent Toledo group now being organized by Mr. Spradlin, who explained his initial interest by reciting a Pink Pistols motto:

Armed gays don't get bashed.

Conjuring what nine years later must still be the nation's best-known gay hate crime, Mr. Spradlin said: "If Matthew Shepard had been armed, maybe he wouldn't have been beaten to death."

Mr. Spradlin, meanwhile, has never been beaten up because of his orientation, although his fondness for cross-dressing has put him at risk:

"At [Westfield Franklin Park] mall, I was in full-dress drag one day, and I was going into Victoria's Secret when some [teen] boys said, 'Look at her! Let's get her!' And I turned around and grabbed some pepper spray out of my purse, and they took off."

Mr. Spradlin was kind enough to meet me at Cleland's Outdoor World's shooting range, where he introduced me to basic gun safety and his Sigarms P 226 handgun .

When Mr. Spradlin was asked to pick our paper targets - bulls-eyes or silhouettes? - he didn't hesitate to choose the outline of a human torso. It made me think of another Pink Pistols saying: Pick on someone your own caliber.

Personally, I'm what the Pink Pistols call a "gun bigot," someone who's not crazy about firearms, knows nothing about them, "may never have even fired one, certainly doesn't have any, [and] would gladly subject innocent people to defenselessness."

Let me just say that my fondness for gun control contrasts with the libertarian Mr. Spradlin's appreciation for weapons. Let me also just say that, as someone who never fired a gun until Friday, I found the 40-caliber handgun sure had a kick.

"Aw, man!" said Mr. Spradlin after I hit the 'X' (twice!), "you got him in the kill zone!"

It's an unusual sensation, experiencing pride and dread simultaneously.

Roberta de Boer's column appears in Second News on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Sundays in Behind The News.
» E-mail her at [email protected] or call (419) 724-6086

The story can be found at;

- Janq

Note: I have issue with Spradlin taking an as stated total gun newbie to the range and introducing her to shotting with a .40 cal, referring to her as a "gun bigot", and referring to x ring hits as "kill zone".
Hello...this is your one chance to put on a positive face and maybe have the person leave with an upbeat thought toward usage of firearms, those who own and use them regardless of purpose, and maybe convert the person to come to our side! For events and persons like this .22, .38 and 9MM at most is the way to go...and use targets like the FBI 'Q' target (looks like a giant sized bowling pin) FTconversionW.
As for Pink Pistols I personally like their organization and basis, even as I'm hetero...not that it should or does matter either way.

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4,133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
For those that don't know below is an FBI 'Q' type target.

FBI/DEA “Q” Target
Size: 23" x 35"

Notice it does not have a human looking silohuette and won't cause an ati or gun newbie to go into mental flips as they wrestle with the concept of shooting at a 'human' or some other living thing.

Below is a target that is sillouhette style with a Q target superimposed into it's center, which is what the Q targets design is intended to represent anyway as relative to a human...

I personally use FBI Q type targets for CCW related close distance training and paper pie plates when working on target accuracy (i.e. Bullseye) and/or distance related work.
Human silouhette targets are totally unnecessary, not allowed at some ranges, and not the way to go with a newbie shooter that you know before hand is anti gun and/or CCW.

- Janq

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4,133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
FBI Q targets are non human...they resemble a bowling pin or glass milk bottle.

I've never been to a range that has allowed use of targets that depict an actual human such as that Osama example.
Human sillouhette though is okay and common.

- Janq
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